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Jan. 2, 2001

%^$COLUMBUS, Ohio-The following statement was issued (Jan. 2) at 4 p.m. by The Ohio State University Director of Athletics, Andy Geiger.%^$

%^$”Earlier today, Coach John Cooper and I met to discuss the future of The Ohio State University football program. At that time, I informed him that it was necessary to make a head coaching change. I have advised President Kirwan of the discussions Coach Cooper and I had, and I can report that President Kirwan supports this decision. I should also point out that this decision has the support of the university’s Board of Trustees.%^$

%^$”In making today’s announcement, I want to express, not only for myself, but also for Dr. Kirwan and the entire Ohio State University community, our sincere thanks and appreciation to Coach Cooper for his 13 years of leadership and service. During his tenure as head coach, our football team shared three Big Ten titles and twice finished second nationally in wire service polls.%^$

%^$”Coach Cooper has been a fine representative of this university and an outstanding citizen of our state. At all times he has demonstrated personal integrity and dignity. We wish nothing but the very best for John, his wife, Helen, their children, John and Cindy, and grandchild, Olivia.%^$

%^$”In terms of the future, we will begin immediately the search for a new coach. With respect to timing, we intend to be diligent and thorough and take the time necessary to recruit the best possible fit. To assist me in this regard, I will ask the following university representatives to serve on an advisory committee. These representatives include: David Frantz, professor of English and academic liaison to Athletics: Susan Hartmann, professor of history and faculty representative to Athletics, Jack Rall, professor of physiology and chair of the Athletic Council, Archie Griffin, associate athletics director, George Skestos, chairman of our Board of Trustees, two student athletes from the football program, and former player Jeff Logan, president of the men’s Varsity “O” Association.%^$

%^$”The Ohio State University football program represents one of the greatest of all traditions in college athletics. It is a tradition of excellence, characterized by high expectations. But make no mistake, these high expectations are not represented only by win/loss records, but also, and perhaps most important, through success in the classroom and success in building the character of student athletes.%^$

%^$”I am confident we will find just the right person to carry on this great tradition.”